This holiday season many grandparents are saddened by the fact that they can’t give the same lavish presents to the same number of grandchildren that they have given in years past. In flusher times some might have shelled out for a Wii to play games with their grandchildren or a camcorder to visit with them across the miles (both of which I write about in SUPER GRANNY). But in today’s economy more will be inspired by the gift-giving practice of another granny I interviewed for the book – taking her grandkids to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army store and telling them to pick out “anything you want.”
You can show your love for your grandchildren in loads of ways without running up a huge credit card bill and buying into the high-priced “commercial clutter” advertised on TV. The best gift, of course, is your time. The things you do together are the memories that your grandchildren are most likely to cherish in years to come. You can take them on simple trips to local museums, performances, or skating rinks. You can do crafts activities together and then leave the finished products with the child. You can bake cookies together – just because it seems like a stereotyped “granny” activity doesn’t mean it isn’t fun even for modern grands and kids. Especially if you bake a grandchild's favorite kind and decorate them with pizazz.
And for long-distance grandmothers, there are other ways to show you care. You can send an addition to a collection – a special stamp, a postcard, newly minted state quarters. You can send seeds or bulbs, with the promise of working on them together the next time you visit. You can send funny cards or emails, tell jokes and riddles over the phone, and for the little ones, record yourself reading a book and send the cassette or CD along with a copy of the book. Many of the classic children’s books are available in low-priced paperback versions.
And always remember: We don’t stop playing because we grow old – we grow old because we stop playing.
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